Pilates Takeaway - Working to Strengthen Your Upper Body and Core

Take some time for yourself away from distractions.

Try the following exercises designed to strengthen your upper body and core. 
Suitable for men and women of all abilities.

Listen to your body and be gentle, don’t force the movements. Take a break if you feel any pain.

Upper Body Strength
Leg Pull

1- Start in a box position, your hands beneath your shoulders & your knees beneath your hips.

2- Extend your right leg out behind you then extend your left leg to join it,
You are in a plank position, a straight line from your head to your feet.

3- Engage your abdominal muscles.

4- Lengthen and lift your right leg, imagine your leg is being pulled away from you!

Focus on keeping your pelvis level, do not lift your leg too high.

5- Lower the leg with control, lengthen and lift your left leg

6- Repeat 4 time on each leg, alternating legs

Tip: Imagine you are a strong bridge, your leg is a gate, lift the gate without moving the bridge.

7- To finish, sit back on your heels in child’s pose.

 

Core Strength
The One Hundred

1- Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.

2- Lift your head and upper body and float your arms from the floor, look over the top of your knees.

3- Start to beat your arms up & down, breath in for 5 beats, breath out for 5 beats, aim for 100 beats. Keep your upper body still, only your arms move, like springboards from your shoulders!

4- You can lift your legs to tabletop position.

Imprint your spine, drawing your abdominals in and gently pushing the lower back down into the mat.

5- Or straighten your legs. 

The lower you take your legs to the floor the more challenging for your abdominal muscles,  if you feel discomfort in your lower back or your back arches, lift your legs higher and pull your tummy in more.

Tip; Imagine you are patting soft fluffy kittens, be gentle!
 

7. Finish with a full body stretch, lengthen your legs along the mat and take your arms overhead to the mat behind you.